Where the Math Says The Toronto Maple Leafs Will Finish

The Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena on April 17, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
The Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Rogers Arena on April 17, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs magic number is now two. They will certainly make the playoffs. The question is, where are they statistically likely to finish?

The Toronto Maple Leafs are having a magical season. They currently lead the North Division in what may be considered the most unique NHL season of all time. After losing the play-in series to the Columbus Blue Jackets and not making the playoffs last year, this has been a breath of fresh air for Toronto.

With the Leafs in first place, the only way they miss the playoffs for the second season in a row is if they have a historic meltdown. That’s not happening. The question isn’t will they reach the playoffs but instead, where will they finish the season and enter the postseason?

According to Playoff Status, The Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, and Edmonton Oilers all have less than a one-percent chance of missing the postseason. Those three teams will spend the remainder of the season jockeying for position heading into the playoffs.

Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Seeding Probabilities

This year, the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will look different than fans are used to. Only the top four teams in each division will earn a berth into the tournament. From there, the teams play within their division eliminating each other until there is just one team remaining in each bracket. The first round would see the top seed play the fourth and the second play the third. In the second round, the winners of each series would play each other. At the conclusion of that round, there will be just four teams remaining in the hunt for Lord Stanley’s Mug.

Those four teams will advance to the Stanley Cup Semifinal. The representative of the North Division will then cross the border and play their games in the United States for the first time this year. The four teams will be seeded based on their regular-season point totals to determine who will play each other. Once again, the top team will play the fourth seed and the second and third seeds will face off. The winners of each semifinal will meet to decide who will be this year’s Cup winner.

Based on the postseason rules, the Toronto Maple Leafs regular-season record is vitally important. It’s important that they collect every possible point to get themselves as high as possible in the NHL’s overall standings. Currently, the Maple Leafs sit in seventh in the league.

As important as Toronto’s league-wide status may be down the line, it’s their place in the North Division that has more immediate significance. There is good news here. The math is on their side.

There is a six-percent chance that the Leafs finish the season as the occupant of the third seed. There is a 23-percent chance that they will finish in second and a 70-percent chance that they take the top seed.

The most likely scenario for the Maple Leafs is that they will play the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round. There is a 46-percent chance of that happening. There is a 17-percent chance that the Leafs will face the Edmonton Oilers, a 15-percent chance of them playing the Winnipeg Jets, a 14-percent chance that they play the Calgary Flames, an eight-percent chance they play the Vancouver Canucks, and less than a one-percent chance that they play the hapless Ottawa Senators.

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These playoff positions will sort themselves out in the coming weeks. Check back with us on Editor In Leaf for everything you need to know about the Maple Leafs progress.